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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was loan.

Topics

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have grave concerns about the lack of leadership being displayed by the Prime Minister. In his rush to spend billions of dollars without any competition, he has sold out Canada's sovereignty.

Because he has signed a made in the White House plan to buy the Boeing C-17, Canadians who have dual citizenship from one of the 25 countries are banned by the U.S.A. from working in Canada on some of the aerospace contracts. How can the Prime Minister pretend that he stands up for Canada when he does not stand up for Canadians?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we said very clearly last week that for every dollar invested in military purchases there will be a dollar in economic spinoffs. What is most important to remember is that this dollar invested in economic spinoffs will be a dollar invested in quality to help the aerospace industry continue to position itself well on the world scene.

It is all the more important, therefore, to hear my hon. colleague in the opposition say last week that he would tear up the contract with Boeing. What does that mean? That means zero for quality and zero for investment in Canada. That is what it means.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, he is totally out to lunch.

The Minister of Industry and his unelected colleague, Michael Fortier, whom he affectionately calls the patronage boss, was not smiling very much on Friday and for just reason: they had been too cowardly to protect the aeronautical industry.

All the maintenance contracts for 20 years will go to the United States and the discriminatory U.S. rules on dual citizenship will still be there.

What guarantees did the Minister of Industry get when he went to Washington, other than winning the title of employee of the month at Boeing U.S.A.?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is too bad to see that the opposition member has no confidence in the Canadian aerospace industry. That is what he is telling us now. The Canadian aerospace industry is one of the four largest in the world. It does business with other world-class companies. The aerospace industry in Canada and Quebec will therefore be able to position itself very well for military purchases.

In contrast to the previous government, we have invested in the Canadian Armed Forces after 13 years of neglect, and this will create economic benefits for Canadians.

PassportsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, because of the lack of leadership shown by the Conservatives on the passport issue, provincial premiers have had to take the lead in lobbying the United States. As the new passport rules threaten to devastate border communities and cost tourism billions of dollars, the Conservatives are doing nothing.

When it is actually time to stand up for Canadians on the passport issue, why is it that the only ones left standing are the premiers and not Canada's not so new government?

PassportsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased to see a number of premiers finally getting on board on this issue. That will be helpful.

I am also pleased to see the progress that has been made, first, with air traffic. We had a delay that was put in place to allow people more time. We also had special arrangements made for people returning from the United States later on who traditionally go south. We made progress in moving the implementation date back further. We have alternative documents that are acceptable. We have a province and a state working on a driver's licence project. Great progress is being made.

PassportsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the passport problem has become so large that the Minister of Public Safety has called for a brand new passport facility. Guess where? In his riding.

American border politicians, premiers, the Liberal opposition and Canadians all have tried to tell the government it was not getting the job done when it came to making the passport case to the U.S. If the Conservatives will not listen to taxpayers, why will they not at least listen to their backbench? At least six Conservative MPs have had to hold passport clinics to deal with the anger and confusion over the change in the rules.

The government was unable to convince the U.S. to change its decision. It was unable to staff the passport offices in time. It did not even listen to its own backbench. Why was it so unprepared?

PassportsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that two weeks ago I attended meetings in Washington, along with our ambassador, meeting most of the chairs of the new democratic committees, both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, and also Secretary Chertoff and Attorney General Gonzales.

Again, it is interesting that Conservative MPs, even before this U.S. law was brought into place, were attending to the needs of their constituents, not just on passport issues but others, another area where we are setting examples for the Liberals who left this whole area untouched and did nothing.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

February 5th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Minister of Industry said, a Boeing spokesperson, Eddy Morin, told Le Devoir that his company believes that it will be difficult for it to spin off economic benefits in Quebec proportionate to its weight in the aerospace industry because of the presence of Bombardier, its direct competitor.

Does the Minister of Industry not understand that by refusing to require a fair distribution of the spinoffs from the contract with Boeing, he is directly relegating Quebec to less than its share of this contract and thus depriving it of many jobs?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what we are requiring from Boeing is very simple: that it invest in research and development contracts and industrial benefits for Canada as a whole, in high technology.

However, I would like to ask my colleague what the Bloc Québécois can demand of Boeing. The Bloc Québécois cannot demand anything of Boeing and cannot provide Quebeckers with anything, because the Bloc Québécois will never be in power to be able to demand anything at all.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is up to the Minister of Industry to stand up for Quebec's interests. He has just proved that he is in no way responding to the demands of Quebeckers at present.

This minister's inexplicable refusal to get involved in the economic spinoffs from the Boeing contract gives that company free rein to decide where the economic benefits will go.

How can the Minister of Industry abdicate his responsibilities to a private company like Boeing by giving it the power to influence Canadian aerospace strategy so significantly, however it pleases? Since when does a company decide government policy?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this government decides Canada's industrial policy when it comes to the aerospace and defence industries. That is very clear.

The Bloc denounced the softwood lumber agreement but, after a few weeks of waffling, it supported the agreement. The Bloc denounced the motion on the Quebec nation but after a few days it came to its senses and supported the motion to recognize Quebec. Now, the Bloc is denouncing the C-17 contracts awarded to Boeing. I think, I am certain, that in a few days the Bloc will be supporting our demands.

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, we can see that the child care program proposed by the Conservatives is not working.

Last Thursday, Radio-Canada announced that the advisory committee set up by the government is unanimously in favour of establishing an integrated child care system, thus confirming once again the failure of the Conservative initiative.

As part of a possible national child care program, will the government take into consideration Quebec's exclusive jurisdiction regarding child care and, consequently, allow Quebec to opt out unconditionally with full compensation?

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is profitable for the member to speculate about what might be in that report. These are experts in their field. They will release that report in the near future and we will certainly consider their recommendations and take them very seriously.

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, we would love to know the minister's vision. How can the government, on the one hand, state that it intends to restrict its spending power and, on the other hand, refuse to tell us whether it is prepared to give Quebec the $270 million that it lost because of the cancellation , by the Conservatives, of the child care agreement?

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is, under this government, we have delivered choice in child care to parents across the country, including in Quebec. In fact, the universal child care benefit now goes to 1.4 million families, representing 1.9 million children, more than double the amount of money that would have gone into the old Liberal plan. We believe in choice for parents.

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has failed to show leadership. Today, the Prime Minister received his report card from child care advocates and parents: Universal child care, F; Parent choice, D-; Honouring agreements, F. It says:

The [Prime Minister] uses scissors and words carelessly. He cut funds to child care and hasn't delivered promised new spaces.

When will the Prime Minister deliver the child care spaces he promised Canadian parents?

Child CareOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we know there are vested interests out there who oppose choice in child care, but that does not represent the view of this government. The government is delivering choice in child care to 1.4 million families, representing 1.9 million children.

However, the real question is this. Where does the Liberal Party stand on the issue of the universal child benefit? On October 21, the leader of the Liberal Party said that he would take that away from parents. He would take choice away from Canadian parents.

Child CareOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is no action, no plan, no leadership equals no choice and no spaces.

He has also failed first nations communities when it comes to child care. When the government cancelled Kelowna, it cut $200 million from the children of first nations communities. Now things are so bad that the international aid group, Save the Children, which normally works in developing countries, has been called in to clean up the government's mess in first nations communities.

Why is the Prime Minister turning his back on the children of Canada?

Child CareOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this government has acted for all Canadians, including for aboriginals on reserves. The universal child care benefit goes to every family with children under the age of six. Our plan will deliver twice as much money for child care as the plan that was proposed by the Liberals.

However, the question is this. Is the member saying that she would do like her leader has said and take that money away from aboriginals on reserve? Is that their plan? Why does she not answer the question?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government is failing to show leadership on health care. A year has passed and the minority Conservative government has yet to make any real progress on improving Canada's health care system. This is a far cry from its promise to make wait times reduction a priority.

Will the Minister of Health now admit that his government has broken yet another promise to Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the opposite. According to the latest report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the most recent data indicated that 42,000 more surgeries were performed than in the previous year in five key surgery areas. In fact, more surgeries were performed overall.

This shows real improvement. It shows that the leadership this government is showing in terms of patient wait time guarantees, both on reserve and for child surgeries, is making a difference for the future as well. In contrast, the Liberal record was to talk a lot, do nothing and get nothing done for Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister could erect a banner on an aircraft carrier saying, “Mission Accomplished”.

Let us review the facts. The Prime Minister's own deadline of December 2006 to set wait times targets was not met. The wait times guarantee was promised for all Canadians, but so far nothing. Not a single new dollar has been put into wait times. No wonder there is no real progress.

When will the Minister of Health admit that when it comes to wait times, he just cannot get the job done?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, let me correct the record for the hon. member.

In fact, 85% of the Canadian population has wait time targets that were not in place under his government. We are working on the other 15%. When it came to priorities, the leader of the official opposition, in his maiden speech to the Toronto Board of Trade, mentioned a whole host of priorities. Where did health care stand? It stood nowhere. He did not mention health care once.

The Liberals are not getting it done. They did not get it done in the past. They will not get it done in the future either.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, wait times nearly doubled under the watch of the previous Liberal government. This morning, the Canadian Institute for Health Information issued a positive report on the number of surgeries performed last year.

Could the Minister of Health update the House on the progress the government is making to increase the number of surgeries performed?